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Choosing Your New Pet: Cat

Working couples and retirees, as well as other families and singles, have
discovered that cats are wonderful companions. Their entertaining antics
and affectionate behaviors have endeared these animals to millions of
owners. Cats come in all colors and with all kinds of coats--short, long, or
curly. Some cats are quiet and appear somewhat independent, but all cats
need and want attention. Also, most cats can adapt to a variety of
environments. As with dogs, there are purebreds and mixed breeds.

Each cat breed has certain characteristics. Although every cat is unique,
certain breeds tend to be more inquisitive, lively, placid, vocal, or gentle
than others. Veterinarians, cat-fancy clubs, pet stores, and cat shows are
good sources of information about the personalities of various breeds. When
selecting a kitten, use similar criteria as selecting a dog. The kitten should be
neither too shy nor too aggressive. A healthy kitten actively seeks affection from
people. Cats are easily housebroken and fastidious, and they don't have to be
walked. For these reasons, many apartment owners and
condominium associations allow their residents to keep cats.

A cat's air of independence does not mean that it can take care of all its
own needs. Cat owners have important responsibilities such as providing
food and water, social interaction, and changing the litter box regularly.
Remember, cats have only one life, not nine! To prevent life-threatening
diseases and enjoy a healthy life, your cat will require regular veterinary
medical checkups and vaccinations as well. Ask your veterinarian about the
common signs of feline illness.

Cats make wonderful companions because of their entertaining antics and
affectionate behavior. They can also adapt to a variety of environments.

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